First Practice Session: 1:45.823, Position: 1, Laps: 25
Second Practice Session: 1:44.532, Position: 3, Laps: 29
“It was a positive day for us and we can be happy with the balance of the car. For FP2 we weren’t fully there but we know what areas we need to work on and improve. But the car felt good, we are more or less there and we had a good start to the weekend. The tyres worked really well as well, I was happy with the ultrasofts, there was quite a difference between them and the supersofts. I think it will be an interesting battle between us, Mercedes and Ferrari, and I’m looking forward to it.”
First Practice Session: 1:45.872, Position: 2, Laps: 27
Second Practice Session: 1:44.557, Position: 4, Laps: 26
“This circuit is always difficult. You’re pushing the limit on a street circuit and you want to be comfortable in qualifying so today is the day to experiment. I had a bit of a spin and touched the barrier but the car was more or less okay. It’s hot, it’s tricky and everything is a little bit on the edge here for sure, but to find a few tenths on this circuit can be quite easy, because there are so many corners and with the tyres overheating in the last sector you can lose or gain a lot. We still feel that we can get a little bit more speed out of the car so that’s what tonight is for. Even if we find a few small things, then they will hopefully add up to quite a bit of lap time here tomorrow.”
Bring on the night… and the heat, and the long hours
The Singapore Grand Prix is a proper racing challenge, putting huge pressure on car, driver and team due to its unique demands of racing at night under lights, in intense heat and over a long period. It’s a tough one to top but we reckon we can go brighter, hotter and longer. Here are Singapore’s rivals…
Bright: Last year festive season freak David Richards of Australia set a new standard for the world’s largest display of Christmas lights on an artificial tree. Christmas-mad Richards strung his huge tree with 518,838 individual lights to earn himself a spot in the record books. Richards’ tree, which was built to raise awareness for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, required a crew of architects, electrical and civil engineers, designers, and volunteers to complete and its half a million lights were more than enough to beat the previous record of 374,280 by Universal Studios Japan in October 2015.
Brighter: The Marina Bay Street Circuit’s lighting might be impressively bright but it’s put in the shade by the city of Singapore itself, which is officially one of the mostly brightly lit cities on the planet. In a survey of highly illuminated cities published in Science Advances it was ruled that Singapore is so well lit at night that residents never truly adapt to darkness (when eye rods take over from eye cones)!
Hot: It’s hot here in Singapore, with in-car temps regularly topping 50˚C but it’s nothing compared to the heat of the fearsome Carolina Reaper, officially the World’s Hottest Pepper as ranked by Guinness Records. There is nothing normal about this pepper. It was bred specifically for heat and has an average Scoville Heat Unit (the standard measure of chili heat) of over 1.5 million, with peaks hitting 2.2 Million SHU! As a frame of reference, a bell pepper has 0 SHUs, a standard Jalapeño rates at about 10,000 SHU and a Scotch Bonnet has about 100,000-350,000 SHUs.
Hottest: It’s a much-disputed benchmark but according to most, the hottest place on earth (barring of course the inside of volcanoes or at the earth’s core) is Death Valley in California. The Mediterranean city of El Azizia in northern Libya held the record for a long time but in 2012 experts from the World Meteorological Organisation reckoned that the measurement of 58˚C in 1922 was err… botched. Therefore, the title of the hottest ever place on Earth passes to Death Valley in California, where the temperature reached 56.7C in 1913.
Long (duration): The race here regularly nudges or hits the two-hour mark but that’s nothing compared to some other sports events. Take the longest ever tennis match, for example. The first-round Wimbledon clash between John Isner from America and Nicolas Mahut from France took more than 11 hours to play over the course of three days. Isner finally won it 70-68 in the final set!
Longest: That’s nothing compared with the legendary chess matches between Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov in 1984, with the championship bouts lasting five months! After 40 draws they eventually had to stop for health reasons. Kasparov won the rematch in 1985.